Preview: Green Bay at New Orleans
When: 8:30 PM ET, Sunday, October 26, 2014
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
The New Orleans Saints will be banking on their home-field dominance when they host the surging Green Bay Packers on Sunday night. The Saints have dropped all four games on the road, including a galling setback last week at Detroit in which they blew a 13-point lead over the final 3:38, but quarterback Drew Brees said it's not time to panic. "There's no must-win games until they're must-win games," Brees said. "It's important. It's really important, but nobody needs that kind of pressure."
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers adopted a similar mantra to Brees after Green Bay dropped two of its first three, telling the home fans to "relax." Rodgers has guided the Packers to four consecutive wins and has been spectacular in doing so, throwing 13 touchdown passes and zero interceptions to push Green Bay into a tie with Detroit for first place in the NFC North. “We’re 5-2. They’re 2-4," Rodgers said. "They’ve lost some close games. We won a couple close ones. But they’re a good football team."
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBC. LINE: Saints -1.5. O/U: 56
ABOUT THE PACKERS (5-2): Rodgers has 18 scoring passes versus one interception - that coming in Week 1 - and is coming off his fourth consecutive games with at least three TD passes in a 38-17 demolition of Carolina. Jordy Nelson has six touchdown catches and is second in the league with 712 receiving yards while fellow wideout Randall Cobb has eight TD receptions. The Packers are averaging 36.3 points during their winning streak despite a slow start by second-year running back Eddie Lacy, who has four touchdowns in the past four contests but has been limited to 48 yards or fewer in five of the seven games. Green Bay is one of the league's worst team's against the run, ranking 31st with an average of 147.9 yards allowed.
ABOUT NEW ORLEANS (2-4): The Saints' defense is permitting 27.5 points per game and appear vulnerable to Rodgers and Green Bay's vaunted aerial attack, surrendering 270.5 passing yards while collecting only nine sacks. Brees' inconsistency is reflected in his past three games - he has thrown for over 300 yards in each but has six touchdowns and five interceptions in that span. One major concern is the health of standout tight end Jimmy Graham, who did not have a catch against the Lions while battling a shoulder injury that has limited him in practice this season. Third-down back Pierre Thomas is expected to miss the game with a shoulder injury, leaving Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson as the primary ball carries.
1. Brees is 10-0 with a 117.9 passer rating in his last 10 at home.
2. Rodgers joined New England's Tom Brady as the only player with a passer rating of 150-plus in two of the first seven games of the season.
3. Graham has 11 scoring passes in his last 11 home games.
PREDICTION: Packers 34, Saints 30
Stats and Records
New Orleans Off vs
Green Bay Def